Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron says LSU fans will see “markedly improved” quarterback play this season, and that QBs Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris continue “growing.”
Cameron, in a 15-minute interview on ESPN 104.5’s Culotta & The Prince, said he heads into spring practice with two goals for his quarterbacks: grow more as leaders and make better decisions.
“It’s not a throwing competition. For any quarterback, it’s still a leadership position,” he said. “It’s decision making. It’s growth. It’s the ability to be accurate.”
“I think they’re athletic enough, think they’re tough enough,” he said of Jennings and Harris. “They bring a lot of talent to the table. Now, it’s the chemistry part and our passing game and even in our zone read, running attack. A lot of things developing. Think you’re going to see guys markedly improved.”
Cameron touched on LSU’s “outstanding” 2015 recruiting class and about re-recruiting draft-eligible players. He spoke about how his offense will need to “reinvent” itself without FB Connor Neighbors and how RB Leonard Fournette will be the “focal point.”
He says coach Les Miles makes decisions on the quarterback battle and discusses WR Malachi Dupre’s weight gain.
Here are the nuggets:
- Asked if the starting quarterback battle was an open competition in the spring, Cameron joked, “Well, what has Les told you?” Cameron declined to comment on the question specifically.
There’s not a program at any level – high school, college or the National Football League – where the head coach doesn’t make the call on the quarterback position. I don’t care how long .. this is my 32nd season.
That’s Les’ decision. Obviously Anthony comes back, having started in the bowl game. Those are comments that come from your head coach.
- While speaking about how LSU coaches re-recruit players, Cameron suggested that receiver Travin Dural was thinking about leaving early and entering the NFL draft. He said coaches may have done “some of the best recruiting” after the bowl game, when Miles met with draft-eligible players in their homes to try to convince them to remain in school.
Some of the best recruiting we did this year is right when we got off the plane (from) Nashville. Les went out and went out and visitied with all of the draft eligbiel parents and sat down and talked to them.
It’s different. Not only are you recruiting classes of 15, class of 16, class of 17. You’re re-recruiting all of these other class that you had once guys become draft eligible.
Getting Travin Dural … guys were thinking about coming out that people wouldn’t even dream of leaving.
- Could LSU’s offense be looking at a schematic change this season without Neighbors? Sounds like it. “We’ve got to reinvent our ourselves to a degree,” Cameron said after being asked about Neighbors’ absence and a possible expanded role for tight ends. Cameron mentioned new signee David Ducre, the No. 1-ranked fullback in the nation. He’s the only scholarship fullback on the roster.
- Cameron says LSU’s offensive “focal point” will be running back Leonard Fournette and that the former top-ranked recruit will touch the ball 15-20 times per game. He said LSU coaches last season decided to make a switch and use Fournette in what he called an “old school” type scheme.
To your point, I think there’s no question that we’ve got to do a great job of distributing the football from outside in but also knowing we don’t want to come out of games without Leonard touching the ball 20 times, 15 times.
You saw that shift toward Leonard in some critical games. We said, ‘OK, we’ve got to get him the football more.’ It’s old school, it’s a little old fashioned but I think it was the right fit for this past season.
You’ll see us expand not only how we use him but how we use everybody else as well.
- Cameron called LSU’s recruiting class “outstanding” and mentioned a couple of the more unheralded players like TE Foster Moreau and WR Jazz Ferguson. Cameron said Moreau could add “as much as 50 pounds” and that Ferguson is likely to gain “20 -30″ pounds and reminds him of former San Digeo Chargers’ receiver Vincent Jackson.
Some of them might be considered sleepers but if we recruit them, we offer them and they come here, in our minds they’re all-SEC talent and guys we think will jump from here to the next level.
- Speaking of weight gains: Cameron says Dupre has gained at least 10 pounds this offseason.
He’s in the weight room, getting bigger and stronger. We’re reminded Jarvis Landry caught one pass as a freshman. You look what Malachi was able to do.
- Cameron said he’s not sure he’s every had a ready-made sophomore or freshman quarterback, when speaking of Jennings and Harris.
Want our quarterback to be a multiplier and lift everybody around him. I’m confident both of these guys have that ability. Now, we’ve got to do it on a more consistent basis.
The view to try to find holes in guys and plug those holes you see in them is really not the view I have. The view I have is about growth and development. I don’t know if I’ve had one as a freshman and, even, as a sophomore that’s ready made. There’s a lot that goes into this position. They’re both growing. I think you’re going to see that growth.